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Posted on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 1:15 p.m.

Top 5 moments of the first half of the season for Michigan football team

By Pete Bigelow

Seven games down, five remain.

The Michigan football team (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten) is just past the halfway point on the 2010 regular-season schedule. With a bye on Saturday, it’s the perfect time to catch our breath and look in the rear-view mirror.

Here’s the top five moments from the first half of the football season. On Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the bottom five.

5. Tate Forcier's great return

Thumbnail image for 092510_SPT_UM vs BGSU_MRM_08.jpg

Tate Forcier was 12-for-12 passing against Bowling Green.

Teammates criticized him. Coaches stripped wings from his helmets. Big Ten Network reporters (erroneously) reported his transfer was imminent.

Not exactly the best start to 2010 for Tate Forcier.

But the Big House crowd greeted Forcier with a loud round of applause when the sophomore quarterback finally got his chance against Bowling Green and the energy he brought to the huddle was palpable.

In that game, he completed 12 of 12 passes, setting a school record for accuracy. Afterward, Forcier’s emotions were raw.

“A lot of people have been saying I’m not staying here, but I’m here,” he said. “I love Michigan. I love everything about it. I’m not going to leave. Not a chance. I love Coach Rod. I love these fans. I love Michigan football.”

4. Junior Hemmingway saves the day

Twenty-seven seconds remained on the clock, with Michigan and Indiana tied at 35. Denard Robinson slings a high rainbow pass a nanosecond before Larry Black Jr., brother of Michigan’s Jibreel Black, crushes him.

Receiver Junior Hemingway adjusts to the deep pass, slightly underthrown, and wrestles a must-have reception from Indiana defensive back Richard Council.

The 42-yard pickup sets up Robinson’s game-winning score on the next play. The Wolverines escape Bloomington with a 42-35 win. 3. Fans save the rivalry

In the end, they got it right.

For weeks, Big Ten officials braced fans for the news that Michigan and Ohio State might not play each other in the regular-season finale like they have every year since 1935 because of a new divisional format.

An outpouring of outrage helped steer the rivalry back to its traditional place on college football’s calendar.

Not only was the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry saved in the new format, but the Wolverines emerged from the divisional shakeout better positioned than any team in the conference.

They preserved their Buckeye rivalry in the cross-over game, kept an annual meeting with Michigan State on the schedule, saved the Brown Jug rivalry with Minnesota and added an annual game with Nebraska, game sure to generate revenue.

It doesn’t get better than that.

2. The wink

The Heisman Trophy hype started in full force when Denard Robinson concluded his brilliant 502-yard performance against Notre Dame with a game-winning drive.

But nothing was certain on that upfield march until receiver Roy Roundtree flashed a wink at a quarterback starting his second collegiate game before a crucial third-and-five play from the Notre Dame 17.

“Man, he gave me a wink before the play,” Robinson said. “He winked at me. I knew I could go to him. I knew I could count on him. And it was time.”

Moments later, Robinson whipped a 15-yard pass in Roundtree’s direction on a crossing route that took Michigan to the 2-yard line in the game’s waning seconds.

On the next play, Robinson scored the game-winning TD. Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24. The game was won, and Robinson launched into college football’s stratosphere.

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Brock Mealer's walk to the center of the field brought Michigan football fans to their feet.

1. Brock Mealer's walk

Forget about football.

Regardless of what happens throughout the rest of the season, there was no better moment for the Wolverines this year than watching Brock Mealer walk out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel and touch the banner prior to the season opener against UConn.

Doctors told Mealer he would never walk against after a car accident on Dec. 24, 2007. He didn’t listen, instead rehabbing with the Michigan football team’s training staff.

His recovery culminated with a walk onto the stadium turf that more than 113,000 people in attendance that day will never forget.

Pete Bigelow can be reached at (734) 623-2556 or e-mailed at Follow him on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Wed, Oct 20, 2010 : 6:43 p.m.

^^^^^ And again, compliments of trigg7. (taken from Field of Dreams) Point out a Sparty's inferiority complex...and they will come.


Wed, Oct 20, 2010 : 9:13 a.m.

Note to win, WAAA WAAA, Better days are ahead, I would hope so cuz your team blows.Iguess its hard to understand how tough it is to win when your not playing high school teams a 100 years ago. Well u always have B ball.


Wed, Oct 20, 2010 : 5:11 a.m.

Of course Mr. Forcier will have plaudits for the team, Rich Rod, MIchigan, etc., now he's played a bit and been (pretty much) successful. He wasn't saying these things a few weeks ago when his little *ss was on the bench and he had a towel over his head. Denard Robinson? He's going to get seriously hurt if he continues to play as he does. Despite this little flurry of success, Rich Rod is a poor coach and a shyster, and should be replaced whatever the outcome of the season is. Which, it seems, will be a number of loses toward the end.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

My point exactly!!


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 9:07 p.m.

I can't wait until tomorrow to see how the Ann staff narrows down the bottom 5 moments of the season. They have so many choices, they'll be working throughout the night.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 9:06 p.m.

Note to MSU fan, You know, it used to be that when we won a game, that was enough. We didn't need to keep dogging the team we beat long after the season was over. We just moved on to the next big game, next Big Ten title and next Rose bowl. It seems some MSU fans still have MICHIGAN on the brain and can't accept their own team as a good team. Hey, MSU fan, enjoy the success your team is having and just try for once to act you belong at the top. Quit spending so much energy dogging U of M. If you are so confident in your team, why worry about some who is clearly struggling. But I guess that is what happens when you are obsessed and have an inferiority complex. Enjoy the struggles of our team for now, because better days are coming for us. Enjoy your "once every twenty year" reign in the Big Ten. Your 15 minutes of fame are almost over.

Wally Wolverine

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

Same old Wolverines. Win their first 4 or 5 against cup cakes and then get smoked the rest of the year.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

Webber's Grill, let me update, #11. After years of complete embarrassment in Ann Arbor, learning that athletic department decided to take on Alabama in a desperate recruiting ploy which will back fire after they lose by triple digits. #12. Watching Taint Forcier in his ridiculous little skull cap trying to pump up his teammates on the sideline when failure was immanent. #13. Watching the UM faithful look dejected and humiliated when the TV cameras panned through the crowd after being blown out by MSU.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 4:31 p.m.

Some of you Michigan fans are such whiners!!! We are not good and for how many years we were the braggers sit back and pray RR is gone. We need a coach to develop players and recruit speed AND STRENGHT. We are soft and weak. Quit making excuses You all sound like RR..............


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 4:31 p.m.

Thanks for this nice little article (notwithstanding the inane comments after it from Spartan nation). Perhaps we should have split it into "on the field moments" and "off the field moments". To me, one of the highlights was DR's first half performance against Bowling Green--even against bad competition, that was dominance. Also, DR's first run against IU was memorable. At least in the up and down season, we do have some smiles.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 3:38 p.m.

spartanvictory: You remind me of a politician with your rhetorical, nonsensical verbage. It is what it what?

BLUE fan Az

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 3:26 p.m.

Well at least after this year the spartans won't be good for another 50 years!

Bob Needham

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

(A comment removed due to a personal attack, along with two responses to it)

Webber's Grill

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 3:04 p.m.

Why stop at just 5 moments, Pete? ===================================== #6. Held Indiana under 600 yards total offense. #7. Won September Heisman for the second year in a row. #8. Achieved key "moral victory" by beating themselves, thus denying Michigan State a crucial win. #9. Avoided a loss to a Division I-AA opponent for the second time since 2007. #10. Beat Notre Dame IN REGULATION, which counts more than an overtime victory.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

Pete has it right. Those are the greatest moments in a season bordering on lackluster. As per 2009, the non-conference games had successful outcomes, and the Indiana game was won in a thriller. The next two games, MSU and Iowa, have brought the season back into perspective. There is a long way to go before this team is ever regarded as a threat to the top Big 10 conference teams. Other teams are not worried about playing Michigan anymore. All view Michigan as very winnable and a game where they can "coast" a bit before taking on tougher opponents. Purdue game is shaping up to be a real battle. I don't think Michigan will win it because it is away and Michigan has a horrible Big 10 road record. However, I'm hoping Michigan can claim to be champions of Indiana with wins over ND, Indiana and Purdue. That should be the goal: "champions of Indiana".

Howard the Duck

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

It is a pretty mediocre list of milestones!


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:14 p.m.

SpartanVictory: (a misnomer of a name): Michigan State University is still Michigan State University. That's why. Your fanbase, student body, and 'student'-athletes' find new ways to embarrass you week after week. Sincerely, and proud to be a Michigan Alumnus, GoBlue2009

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

They're right. Rich Rodriguez will never have to buy a drink again in East Lansing or Columbus (or Iowa City, or State College, or Madison, or West Lafayette, or Champaign...).


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

Spartan, Arrogance is coming to a Michigan forum and talking crap. You don't see me on your forums. Get back to your own world and enjoy your impressive season. I mean come on, they only come around every 15 or 20 years.

Blue Marker

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 2:06 p.m.

Do you realize you have as many players on parole as Michigan has marching band members? Go burn a couch!


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 1:50 p.m.

P U MSU, if you're enjoying this "stellar" football season, you are really going to love your upcoming basketball season. I'm shocked that you are as arrogant at losing games as you are at winning games. Do you realize that since Rich Rod has come to town, MSU has as many wins in the Big House as U of M has Big Ten victories at home?


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 1:32 p.m.

Spartanvictory, We have learned how to cope from watching the spartan fans for so many years. Thanks.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 1:15 p.m.

We thank you for graciously accepting another mediocre season!


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 12:46 p.m.

Can't argue with you here Pete. I was at the game when Brock made his walk. Sent goosebumps throughout my body. Truely touching story.


Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 12:30 p.m.

Nice job Pete -- you have it right.